World Rankings: Only one team can replace France at the top
SPOTLIGHT: Ireland will rise to No.1 in World Rugby’s Rankings if they beat the All Blacks in their series decider in Wellington on Saturday.
They are the only team able to replace France at the top.
Ireland spent two weeks atop the rankings in September 2019, having become the fifth team to occupy top spot on September 9 off the back of a 19-10 victory over Wales.
The other nations to top the rankings are England, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales.
Any margin of victory would also see Ireland break the 90-rating point mark for the first time since the rankings began in October 2003.
If Ireland fail to win against New Zealand, then France’s first foray to the top of the rankings will last longer than a week with Les Bleus not in action this weekend.
South Africa cannot improve their rating with victory over Wales due to the 7.33 rating points between the sides before home weighting is factored in.
The Springboks could drop another two places to fifth if they lose by more than 15 points against Wales, depending on results in Australia and New Zealand.
Victory for New Zealand will see them swap places with Ireland and ensure their stay at fourth – their lowest ever ranking – is short-lived.
New Zealand will climb above South Africa into third if both sides draw this weekend.
However, the All Blacks could drop to a new low of fifth if they lose by more than 15 points, depending on the results in South Africa and Australia.
England could end the weekend in third place if they win by more than 15 points, providing that New Zealand lose by the same margin and South Africa lose.
However, they could fall to seventh if they lose by more than 15 points and Scotland beat Argentina.
Australia must win by more than 15 points to climb back above England into fifth.
The Wallabies could fall two places to a new low of eighth if they lose and Wales and Scotland both win on the road.
Argentina cannot improve on ninth place even if they beat Scotland by more than 15 points.
With Japan not playing this weekend, Los Pumas will remain ninth but could see their cushion cut to just 0.24 over the Brave Blossoms below if they suffer a heavy defeat.
Scotland could jump as high as fifth – equalling their highest ever position – if they win by more than 15 points and Australia win by a smaller margin.
World Rankings – Top 10:
1 – France – 89.41 points
2 – Ireland – 88.79
3 – South Africa – 88.61
4 – New Zealand – 88.17
5 – England – 85.14
6 – Australia – 83.28
7 – Scotland – 82.99
8 – Wales – 81.28
9 – Argentina – 79.39
10 – Japan – 77.74